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Thread: "Believing without evidence is always morally wrong" — Francisco Mejia Uribe

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    Default Re: "Believing without evidence is always morally wrong" — Francisco Mejia Uribe

    Quote Posted by rgray222 (here)
    There needs to be some sort of punitive action against those that distill fake news.
    That's a loaded statement that could have come right out of the mouth of any establishment politician or mainstream media representative.

    Who would you trust to set the rules and enforce the punishment?

    I think the only moral and viable form of punitive action against fake news is to correct it with a statement of your own.

    In other words, have a level playing field that lets everybody express themselves freely and lets the people figure it out themselves what is correct and what is not.

    Quote Posted by William Godwin, Enquiry Concerning Political Justice (1793)
    Whenever government assumes to deliver us from the trouble of thinking for ourselves, the only consequences it produces are those of torpor and imbecility. […] The proper method for hastening the decay of error is not by brute force, or by regulation which is one of the classes of force, to endeavour to reduce men to intellectual uniformity; but on the contrary by teaching every man to think for himself.
    Quote Posted by Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America (1835)
    In order to enjoy the inestimable benefits that the liberty of the press ensures, it is necessary to submit to the inevitable evils it creates.

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    Default Re: "Believing without evidence is always morally wrong" — Francisco Mejia Uribe

    Fake news will disappear when those who finance it are banged to rights.



    Selling fake pharma products is as fake as the news slots. It's a vertical problem.
    .................................................. my first language is TYPO..............................................

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    Default Re: "Believing without evidence is always morally wrong" — Francisco Mejia Uribe

    If I think about how often I changed my mind in the past based on changing beliefs then it must have been about a gazillion times. And all beliefs were based on what I perceived to be reality at a given time. I am no scientist. I can't trust history books really. And knowing how often science is influenced by agenda, I'm not sure whether I can trust science really either. Also a lot of theory in science. Can't trust media. How evident is someone else's observation? How evident is my own observation? How do I process information? I could go on. My brain can be mislead on so many levels. And I often fool myself too. But does that stop me from believing? No.

    I think believing is what brings you forward in evolving your spirit. What is supportable today might not be tomorrow. But you're moving, growing, evolving. Sometimes a step back to take a few forward, but it's progress. Telling people not to believe in anything without evidence to me feels like an effort to control people. It would control the way people evolve if they would take that as an absolute guideline. Might be a gigantic spiritual trap, for all I know.

    Everyone has his/her own way of dealing with it I guess. I like to explore/ponder my thoughts and observations. And I think I box my thoughts: feels legit, doesn't feel legit, undecided. Though I always keep on observing and thinking. Some may switch while time goes by. I'm fine with that. To me it's all good. I'm happy like that.

    Though we do always have an ethical responsibility towards one another. Gotta have a heart and let love reign high.

    Edit: resolved typos.
    Last edited by Slobbe; 7th November 2018 at 10:37.

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    Default Re: "Believing without evidence is always morally wrong" — Francisco Mejia Uribe

    Believes are a double sided sword. Even when doing diligent research, there is a decision point when things are labeled true or not.
    It's similar with those endless long end user license agreements - it's just too much.
    Nobody cares to read them.
    The essential thing in the end is upon which believes one acts. Then it shows, whether one has to make excuses or justifications.
    So, discernment should be used every day and one should be brave enough to throw ill beliefs out the window and look again.
    Last edited by devplan; 7th November 2018 at 16:28.
    "The greatest good you can do for another is not just share your riches, but to reveal to him his own."
    -- Benjamin Disraeli

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    Default Re: "Believing without evidence is always morally wrong" — Francisco Mejia Uribe

    The title of the thread is a brain teaser: believing without evidence is always morally wrong. This is almost a contradiction because there is never enough evidence for certainty and therefore the code of conduct one chooses to comport oneself by is at best an interpretation of morality based on available facts, unless of course one considers morality a choice.
    Why Not?

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    Default Re: "Believing without evidence is always morally wrong" — Francisco Mejia Uribe

    I think the most serious consequence throughout history of the act of believing without evidence is what Mark Passio very clearly lays out in this video - people who blindly follow orders to do great harm, firstly because they believe without evidence that the person telling them to do so has some 'higher' authority, and then they further believe without evidence the reasons to do harm they are being given. In the worst case, it's to kill.

    This aspect of dead wrong believing without evidence has happened.... billions??... of times now throughout history?? The ultimate morally wrong consequence.

    Last edited by waves; 8th November 2018 at 06:31.

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    Default Re: "Believing without evidence is always morally wrong" — Francisco Mejia Uribe

    What a wonderful dialogue going on here. I am looking at this from the perspective of how belief systems effect one internally. Each belief that we have comes with a set of conditions. Some are so subtle that they don't appear to have an effect on our lives and others have a tremendous effect. If I believe killing animals is wrong, it will effect me because I will either change my diet to eliminate them or I will feel guilt every time I do. If I believe I am a victim of something it will effect how I respond to the world. Maybe, I will believe that I can't be successful, or that I am tarnished, which will greatly effect my life. Obviously, the list is endless. What if I believe that volunteer work is good, I will most likely volunteer and that may have a beneficial effect for me.

    It seems to me that that beliefs, especially ones that have not been carefully considered have the effect of internal psychic clutter that in some cases can border on hoarding. Just as we choose what we will have in our living spaces because we know that there are consequences of having lots of junk in the home there are consequences for not being mindful of beliefs. A clutter of beliefs can be likened to self programming that in some cases can become debilitating. Many beliefs come with the added programming of expecting a certain outcome. If I strongly believe you are a "good Christian" I will have certain expectations for your behavior and may become distressed if you don't live up to my belief.

    All of this brings me to the point of seeing the benefit of suspending belief (in many cases this will essentially be suspending judgement) and relinquishing the need for outcomes based on those beliefs. Suspending a belief does not have to mean that you no longer think it true, the suspension disconnects you from attachment to it and the outcomes you may expect from it. I am not saying one should live without belief but to be aware of what that belief does for you. We all have an internal barometer that lets us see if a belief system is causing agitation or internal stress, and in some cases it might be found to be worthy of the agitation or stress, and most likely there are many that are not. It is possible to let go of them. It may take persistence but it is possible.
    Last edited by peterpam; 8th November 2018 at 16:46.

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    Default Re: "Believing without evidence is always morally wrong" — Francisco Mejia Uribe

    Quote Posted by Valerie Villars (here)
    Just "I experienced "this"? Isn't that as real as anything else?
    I've experienced things before... only to later see them from an entirely different perspective, and realize that my previous perception was flawed. So not for me, I even question how I've interpreted things I've personally experienced.

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    Default Re: "Believing without evidence is always morally wrong" — Francisco Mejia Uribe

    Mark Passio says it so clearly, doesn't he? He uses no sugar coating on his rhetoric. Right Action always causes no harm to another. That is morality in a nutshell. But morality goes further. True morality requires proactive intent. Morality only means something if we are sovereign, beholden to no one and answering to no authority but our own. In that case morality must be upheld, defended, and cherished.

    And that is why beliefs must be backed by evidence, because it is on that basis that morality can direct right action so that no harm ever comes to another.
    Why Not?

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    Default Re: "Believing without evidence is always morally wrong" — Francisco Mejia Uribe

    Quote Posted by A Voice from the Mountains (here)
    In my opinion it's best not to form hard conclusions about anything at all, and always leave the door open for arguments that are contrary to our current beliefs. To allow oneself to be intellectually "vulnerable" in this way (at least from the perspective of the ego) is actually a strength, which allows great mental flexibility.


    "The totally convinced and the totally stupid have too much in common for the resemblance to be accidental." -- Robert Anton Wilson.
    Slam dunk. You win this thread. "If I know anything it's that I know nothing."

    Also, the title of this thread is nonsense (not taking a shot at you Bill, love ya). 'Evidence' and 'morals' are subjective. Ones 'evidence' can lead to morally wrong decisions, case in point: http://www.heavensgate.com/ or maybe I should brink up Jonestown? Or Waco? Ya know, good God fearing Christians.
    Just as every cop is a criminal
    And all the sinners saints

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    Default Re: "Believing without evidence is always morally wrong" — Francisco Mejia Uribe

    So, evidence is great, but good evidence is even better.

    In clinical science, there is a pretty straightforward way of rating/scaling evidence into seven levels:

    LEVEL I: Evidence that comes from an in-depth review of all pertinent randomized control trials.

    LEVEL II: Evidence from a minimum of one randomized control trial.

    LEVEL III: Evidence from control trials that aren't randomized.

    LEVEL IV: Evidence from case control and cohort studies.

    LEVEL V: Evidence from a reviewing of descriptive and qualitative studies.

    LEVEL VI: Evidence from just one descriptive or qualitative study.

    LEVEL VII: Evidence from expert opinion (committees, authorities, etc...)

    First level evidence is stronger (more predictable and reliable) than seventh level evidence, so, if you're facing an illness, you'd better hope your physician treats you with procedures and drugs backed with more Level I and II evidence than the other categories.

    Unfortunately, we base all too much of our beliefs on the equivalents of Level VI and Level VII evidence, anecdotal evidence, or simply no evidence whatsoever.

    That standalone study that came out saying Supplement X will prevent cancer... Probably Level VI evidence, assuming the data is reasonable.

    And if someone makes a decision for their patient based on Level VI evidence (or worse!) alone, well, I could see that as being morally wrong.

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    Default Re: "Believing without evidence is always morally wrong" — Francisco Mejia Uribe

    In the law, evidence is what we see, hear, touch, smell and taste. In other words, our senses. Extra sensory experiences or perceptions is/are not evidence in the law, regardless of how convincing the claim may be and how much the experiencer believes it. Or how much you may want to believe it.

    How something is brought to our senses is also evidence. For example do we have personal knowledge of the evidence because I myself saw, heard, touched, smelled or tasted it? Or, did someone tell me about what came to their senses, i. e., is the evidence hearsay? How many levels of hearsay? Did Jane tell, Bob, then Bob told me, and then I'm telling you? That's an example of two levels of hearsay before the evidence got to the final person who has to judge the credibility and believability of the evidence. How trustworthy and reliable is such evidence?

    One need not be lying to provide unreliable or false evidence. Often one is mistaken. Or someone in the chain of hearsay is mistaken. So even if you are not mistaken in what evidence you gave, the person who gave it to may have been mistaken or someone in the chain of hearsay before that was mistaken. You can imagine how all of this can be and is compounded by deliberate lies. Garbage in, garbage out.

    Documents, photos, videos etc... Are also often not trustworthy and reliable. They are subject to hearsay issues too, as well as authentication issues. Is the document or other thing actually what it purports to be? Who authored or created it? Does the document or thing accurately portray or depict what it purports? Has it been authenticated? Has it been altered in some way? Is the information in the document or thing based upon first hand personal knowledge coming directly to the author's or creator's senses, or is it some level of hearsay? What is the source of the document or thing and and what is their agenda? What do they have to lose or gain? Cui Bono. "Honor dies where interest lies."

    Ultimately, it is up to us, the one whose senses are now receiving the evidence to decide, that is, judge, the credibility of testimony from fact witnesses and from so-called experts, as well as the reliability and trustworthiness of documents and things that are presented to our senses.

    Common sense should not be overlooked when doing so. What does your gut tell you? This may be where extra sensory perception plays its part too.
    Last edited by Satori; 27th November 2018 at 21:41.

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    Default Re: "Believing without evidence is always morally wrong" — Francisco Mejia Uribe

    Quote Posted by Variant (here)
    So, evidence is great, but good evidence is even better.

    In clinical science, there is a pretty straightforward way of rating/scaling evidence into seven levels:
    That's good for clinical science, but how many times in your daily life do you have to make a decision without the benefit of a host of controlled clinical trials to draw from?

    Politics is a high-profile example. The closest thing you have to scientific studies of how different forms of government work is history, and people draw from history very interpretively, often unreasonably so. You can't prove in a rigorous sense that the candidates you support will objectively do a better job, and different people will believe different things based on contradictory data. There are lots of decisions like this we have to make all the time, that we just don't have the option of basing on rigorous evidence.

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    Default Re: "Believing without evidence is always morally wrong" — Francisco Mejia Uribe

    This is a fascinating discourse.

    It is only in recent months I have been forced to re-evaluate everything I thought I believed and seek validation for what I continued to want to believe.

    I came across something Clif High said recently and it made a lot of sense. He mentioned that the word 'believe' comes from an old German word whose root meaning was 'wish it to be so.' English is a sloppy language in many ways, or more precisely the use of English is sloppy these days.

    To me there is an inherent difference between knowing something is true and believing something is true.

    When I know something is true then it's veracity is unassailable in my mind. I hasten to add that there is very little that I would claim that I know to be true. Such knowledge is usually characterised as something personal and related to an awareness of an experience or experiences. It also has no evidence available that would stand in contradiction to this knowledge. To date my experience of this sort of knowledge is inconsequential to anyone else's knowledge and often doesn't need to be shared. However it may well shape my beliefs, opinions and interactions with others.

    I would consider beliefs as ideas to be held in awareness, but subject to evidence. What I mean by that is if there is clear evidence against such a belief then it should probably be discarded. If however the original intention of the belief is sincere and genuine and follows from something I know and there is no contradictory evidence then I could provisionally hold it as being true but always accept that it can and should be open to challenge. This sort of belief may not be evidence based but rather follow logically from (or is implied by) those few things that I consider I know to be true. (And yes I am aware this is the way a mathematician thinks.)

    This, to me, then opens up the question of the validity of creating beliefs using linear or logical thinking, even ones that are subject to scrutiny by external evidence. I can't help but feel sometimes that my rigorous mathematical left hand brain training has handicapped me in some ways... but that is a totally different topic.

    All beliefs (and ideas), however, to me must fall squarely under the jurisdiction of critical thinking.

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    Default Re: "Believing without evidence is always morally wrong" — Francisco Mejia Uribe

    Thank you Christian,
    Describing the young friends trusting in you to share what she sees, instantly brought into my mind Peter Yarrow singing
    " The Wedding [ or is it # And There is love ' ? ] in which he sings the line;
    " Do you believe in someting that you've never seen before....? )

    I'm NOT a romantic, but I just thought it fitted here perfectly...
    Last edited by Frenchy; 27th November 2018 at 21:38. Reason: tyop

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    Default Re: "Believing without evidence is always morally wrong" — Francisco Mejia Uribe

    id say if you have a personal experience such as a spiritual one you cannot prove it to anyone but you experienced yourself alone only you can believe it, but don't expect anyone else to believe it. But if you have a belief in an absolute such as maybe a belief in god if a person wants to and it works for them and makes there life better for it I don't see a problem with it but then to take that belief and impose it on to someone else and tell them that they also must believe it is wrong. Such as a lot of Christians do. If you want absolute truth I think you should believe in nothing but be open to all possible truth. Because once there is truth it is not a belief anymore it is an absolute. But don't be fooled by anyone who says they know the truth because I don't think anyone does, or maybe they do but it still cant be proven so there truth is only truth to them even though it might be real. You can say science is truth but really it kind of isn't because we don't know all there is to know so all we have is pieces of truth not the full picture so even the science we have today is not really truth. There is belief and then there is truth which is no longer believing. That's my point of view...

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    Default Re: "Believing without evidence is always morally wrong" — Francisco Mejia Uribe

    Quote Posted by Astute (here)
    This is a fascinating discourse.

    It is only in recent months I have been forced to re-evaluate everything I thought I believed and seek validation for what I continued to want to believe.

    I came across something Clif High said recently and it made a lot of sense. He mentioned that the word 'believe' comes from an old German word whose root meaning was 'wish it to be so.' English is a sloppy language in many ways, or more precisely the use of English is sloppy these days.

    To me there is an inherent difference between knowing something is true and believing something is true.

    When I know something is true then it's veracity is unassailable in my mind. I hasten to add that there is very little that I would claim that I know to be true. Such knowledge is usually characterised as something personal and related to an awareness of an experience or experiences. It also has no evidence available that would stand in contradiction to this knowledge. To date my experience of this sort of knowledge is inconsequential to anyone else's knowledge and often doesn't need to be shared. However it may well shape my beliefs, opinions and interactions with others.

    I would consider beliefs as ideas to be held in awareness, but subject to evidence. What I mean by that is if there is clear evidence against such a belief then it should probably be discarded. If however the original intention of the belief is sincere and genuine and follows from something I know and there is no contradictory evidence then I could provisionally hold it as being true but always accept that it can and should be open to challenge. This sort of belief may not be evidence based but rather follow logically from (or is implied by) those few things that I consider I know to be true. (And yes I am aware this is the way a mathematician thinks.)

    This, to me, then opens up the question of the validity of creating beliefs using linear or logical thinking, even ones that are subject to scrutiny by external evidence. I can't help but feel sometimes that my rigorous mathematical left hand brain training has handicapped me in some ways... but that is a totally different topic.

    All beliefs (and ideas), however, to me must fall squarely under the jurisdiction of critical thinking.
    Welcome Astute, it's great to have you on the forum. I really appreciated your comment on this thread and look forward to hearing more from you!!!!!

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    Default Re: "Believing without evidence is always morally wrong" — Francisco Mejia Uribe

    Francis: Believing without evidence is always morally wrong.

    Allan: So if I believe something to be true, and I don't have evidence for that belief, then I'm morally wrong for having the belief?

    F: Yes.

    A: And if I act on that belief, and I don't have any proof for that belief, those actions will also be morally wrong?

    F: Yes.

    A: What about basic beliefs? What about mathematics? What about one plus one equals two?

    F: Well, you actually do have evidence for this. The evidence exists in the formula.

    A: But what proof do you have for what the number one is?

    F: I don't follow.

    A: Outside for the symbols we have, the concepts we have, what proof is there that the number one actually exists?

    F: I hadn't thought of that.

    A: And if there's no proof for a number to exist, there's no proof that mathematics could exist.

    F: Oh dear.

    A: SO if there's no proof for any number, then it's morally wrong to believe in mathematics.

    F: Oh my.

    A: Actually, if you think about it, the only thing that you can know with certainty is that everything can be doubted.

    F: Well, not everything.

    A: How so?

    F: Well something has to exist to doubt, right?

    A: True.

    F: And if that something that doubts exists, that would be evidence, wouldn't it?

    A: True!

    F: So it's morally right to believe that something exists to doubt.

    A: True!

    F: But outside of that, you can't really trust that any evidence exists for anything.

    A: But that would mean that the only morally right belief is that I exist because I doubt.

    F: Right.

    A: So it's morally wrong to believe the premise that "belief without evidence is always morally wrong"?

    F: Right!

    A: That's absurd.

    F: You bet it is!
    cordibus nostris non quiesceret donec requiescat in te

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    Canada Avalon Member Ernie Nemeth's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Believing without evidence is always morally wrong" — Francisco Mejia Uribe

    The above is the best proof yet that this reality is false and we are duped...
    Why Not?

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    Avalon Member Antagenet's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Believing without evidence is always morally wrong" — Francisco Mejia Uribe

    For me, I tend to use evidence of my experience as my steering wheel.
    The problem is, I suspect the assumptions I make regarding my evidence is often incomplete or wrong.
    That is why I prefer questions, to answers. :-)

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